PURPOSE: Gender-related differences in sex hormones might have a key role in the development of atherosclerosis though direct vascular effects of sex hormones are not yet well understood. Thus, the main purpose of this study was to compare the effects of sex hormones on inflammatory response in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVECs) obtained from both male and female donors. METHODS: We analyzed the expression of receptors and enzymes relevant to the action of androgens (AR, 5α-reductase 1 and 5α-reductase 2) and estrogens (ERα, ERβ, and aromatase) in male and female HUVECs. Furthermore, we analyzed the effect of testosterone (T), 17β-estradiol (E2), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and several androgenic-anabolic steroids (AAS) on VCAM-1, ICAM-1, and E-selectin gene expression and on adhesion of U937 cells to TNF-α-stimulated male and female HUVECs. RESULTS: Our results reveal that in HUVECs, regardless of gender, the components involved in the androgen action pathway are predominant as compared to those of estrogen action pathway. In both HUVEC genders, the inflammatory effect of TNF-α was amplified by co-administration of T or DHT and several AAS frequently used in doping, while E2 had no effect. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study analyzing, under identical culture conditions, the key components of sex hormone response in male and female HUVECs and the possible role of sex hormones in regulating the endothelial inflammatory response. The data obtained in our experimental system showed a pro-inflammatory effect of androgens, while conclusively excluding any protective effect for all the tested hormones.

Effects of sex hormones on inflammatory response in male and female vascular endothelial cells

ANNIBALINI, GIOSUE';AGOSTINI, DEBORAH;CALCABRINI, CINZIA;GUESCINI, MICHELE;STOCCHI, VILBERTO;SESTILI, PIERO
2014

Abstract

PURPOSE: Gender-related differences in sex hormones might have a key role in the development of atherosclerosis though direct vascular effects of sex hormones are not yet well understood. Thus, the main purpose of this study was to compare the effects of sex hormones on inflammatory response in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVECs) obtained from both male and female donors. METHODS: We analyzed the expression of receptors and enzymes relevant to the action of androgens (AR, 5α-reductase 1 and 5α-reductase 2) and estrogens (ERα, ERβ, and aromatase) in male and female HUVECs. Furthermore, we analyzed the effect of testosterone (T), 17β-estradiol (E2), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and several androgenic-anabolic steroids (AAS) on VCAM-1, ICAM-1, and E-selectin gene expression and on adhesion of U937 cells to TNF-α-stimulated male and female HUVECs. RESULTS: Our results reveal that in HUVECs, regardless of gender, the components involved in the androgen action pathway are predominant as compared to those of estrogen action pathway. In both HUVEC genders, the inflammatory effect of TNF-α was amplified by co-administration of T or DHT and several AAS frequently used in doping, while E2 had no effect. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study analyzing, under identical culture conditions, the key components of sex hormone response in male and female HUVECs and the possible role of sex hormones in regulating the endothelial inflammatory response. The data obtained in our experimental system showed a pro-inflammatory effect of androgens, while conclusively excluding any protective effect for all the tested hormones.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2608182
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